Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville archaeological site vandalized

4:45 PM, Jun 15, 2011   |    comments
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Edwardsville, IL (KSDK) - An archeological dig site is vandalized and artifacts, perhaps thousands of years old, are damaged or taken.

It happened on the campus of Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. Police say the vandals struck sometime between Friday at noon and Monday morning.

For a month now, students in Associate Professor Gregory Vogel's class have been excavating in a field on the south end of the Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville campus. They were shocked to find the site had been vandalized.

"We've been out here for four weeks in heat, all different kinds of weather. We've worked really, really hard and it's hard to see, for me and my classmates, just everything ruined like that," said Kate Jamruk, one of the archeology student.

Experts estimate the artifacts are at least a thousand years old and represent several Native American cultures. Authorities say the vandals damaged or took equipment and more.

There is extra security at the site now and there will be a public open house on Friday. Professor Vogel says the site offers a rich look into the past.

"To us, it's extraordinarily valuable information. We can learn a lot about the past that we excavate. But there's nothing here that's of monetary value today," he said.

Police continue to investigate the vandalism.

Associated Press

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